It All Began with a Faerie Paint Brush
March 2007. The month before the conversion happened. As a veteran on Neopets, I was quite accustomed to the site. I remember the days when the Hidden Tower sold Faerie Paint Brushes for 200,000 NP and when no one had ever known the surreptitious truth about meepits. With Faerie Paint Brushes being affordable in those days, I had no doubts that I would achieve my dream pet – a beautiful faerie Pteri.
I was so close to my dream pet. I drew pictures of a faerie Pteri flying into the sunset and made a Pteri gallery in preparation for the newest addition to the family.
After a day full of games – Meerca Chase, Destruct-o-Match, and Ultimate Bullseye – I was 25,000 NP away from my goal of a Faerie Paint Brush! I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe how close I was and how far I’d come. Yes, as unbelievable as it seems, 300,000 NP in those days could get you a lot!
It came on that day, April 27, 2007. It was a wonderful day for a lot of people – and for me also. I loved the fact that we could finally dress up our pets in clothes. But the conversion came with a price – we could no longer create pets in old poses. In other words, only the few select pets that were created before conversion could keep their “old look”.
The conversion not only affected pets, but it also affected prices. We were introduced to an atrocious monster called inflation. Prices hiked like rockets. The items that were most affected unfortunately, were the paint brushes - including the elusive and exquisite Faerie Paint Brush.
I felt a mix of feelings – happiness and despair. A Faerie Paint Brush was so close but now it was so far, far away. But hope wasn’t all lost.
Soon after the conversion, pet trading was introduced. I was thankful and hopeful that this was my chance to own a beautiful unconverted faerie Pteri. The owners of unconverted faerie Pteris were always looking for Draiks, Krawks and other unconverted pets to trade with, so I began a series of what is now called “Penny Trading”. As much as it seemed impossible at a time, there’s a saying that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
There are good and bad points about pet trading. Some people say that people that trade pets only care about “values” and such. It’s true to a certain degree, but I believe the Pound Chat is an opportunity for everyone to own the pet of their dreams.
It all began with a Faerie Paint Brush. Ironically, a few months after the conversion, I won a Faerie Paint Brush at the Fruit Machine. But I was delighted because it was the best event that ever happened to me on Neopets.
At this time, my friend loved plushie Chombies, and was willing to trade her plushie Aisha for one. So I sold the Faerie Paint Brush and bought a Plushie Chomby Morphing Potion. So we traded and I was glad to know that at least one of us has achieved a pet they truly wanted.
I was thinking about keeping my new plushie Aisha, but as I was surfing the Pound Chat, I saw someone who desperately wanted a plushie Aisha for her unconverted grey Lupe. I was hesitant, and made a board that asked for people’s opinions regarding trading my plushie Aisha for her unconverted grey Lupe. Everyone told me it was a bad trade – but that was based on the opinion of trade “values” which I regarded as unimportant when it comes to pet trading. So we traded.
To this day, the plushie Aisha remains with that user. This is the wonderful part about pet trading; when I see pets traded, I see happy people who truly cherish the pet they own.
But I felt melancholy because I thought that being able to own an unconverted faerie Pteri is like being able to touch the moon at the time. But as I saw that the few trades I made could make people achieve their dream pets, there was a small flame of hope that one day I could own an unconverted faerie Pteri.
I kept my unconverted grey Lupe for a year before I received an unexpected neomail from someone who loved unconverted grey Lupes and was willing to offer an unconverted Darigan Scorchio. A friend of mine prompted me not to trade; again the issue of trade “values” were brought up.
I was quite attached to my unconverted grey Lupe at this time, but I could tell the girl who mailed me wanted an unconverted grey Lupe so much that she kept telling me her future plans if I decided to trade.
I knew I lost when it comes to being the best owner for my Lupe. She wanted my Lupe as much as I wanted an unconverted faerie Pteri. So we traded. And to this day, he remains as spoiled and adored as a neopet could ever be. It was definitely a trade I could never regret.
A month later, I saw someone advertising an unconverted baby Kougra. They allured me with their big adorable eyes to offer my unconverted Darigan Scorchio. The owner immediately accepted my offer, and we traded. I thought this would be my last trade. I was happy to see that all my previous pets have wonderful owners and this baby Kougra would be a delightful playmate for my faerie Kougra.
A few years later, I spotted someone offering their unconverted faerie Pteri on a well-named unconverted baby Kougra. I thought, there's no way the Kougra owner would reject but to my surprise, they really did reject the offer. If the Kougra owner at least "considered" the unconverted faerie Pteri, I would never have offered.
My Kougra was very badly named, but I thought, "it's a long shot, but why not?" I was used to rejection, being rejected by unconverted faerie Pteri owners about a million times. But there was a spark of hope in me that maybe... maybe it is possible to own one.
A few days later, I had even forgotten that I offered. And I never, ever, ever would have imagined that the owner would not only consider, but accept my offer.
For me, it was the best trade - or even the best thing that ever happened to me on neopets! I even did an embarrassing dance. I've always wanted an unconverted faerie Pteri for years. Other than saving for a Faerie Paint Brush, I also zapped a Pteri for ages in hope that it will turn faerie but the lab ray didn't cooperate with me.
Even after so many years, I believe that they are the most beautiful neopets in existence back then - and I still think so today.
I was going crazy from anxiety. I remember sending my transfer at exactly 12:00:00 NST at midnight on July 1st. The owner sent me a neomail, letting me know that thecutieIam17 is her first pet and means very special to her. She also told me that she won a Faerie Paint Brush from the Fruit Machine and in her excitement, painted Cutie faerie forgetting that her dream pet was actually a baby Kougra. Coincidentally, for me and for her, it all began with a Faerie Paint Brush.
This was the first time someone I traded with told me the history of the pet. Probably the first time that someone I traded with had any attachments to the pet, instead of just the goal of trading up. That meant a lot to me, and told me a lot about Cutie's previous owner. I felt like I was adopting Cutie instead of just trading for her.
I told her of my future plans for Cutie - training, reading, pet lookup, character, petpage and love because I would never even dream of trading Cutie. I remember I was so anxious waiting for the owner to accept. I even had trouble sleeping, which is a surprise to me because I always sleep like a baby. I felt like I was holding my breath, afraid that if I breathe I might never get Cutie.
I came on at 6:30 on July 2nd, excited and hopeful to see the outcome of the trade. When I logged in, the first thing I saw was a picture of my active neopet - a beautiful unconverted faerie Pteri. I was breathless and I felt so incredibly happy. I couldn't believe my eyes!
There he was. Cutie has finally arrived, flew with beautiful colors into our family. It truly felt like he was a gift. The last pet from my trading ventures - the most beautiful pet of all, was Cutie my ultimate yet unattainable dream until this moment - dream pet that I've always wanted.
Now that I'm done with pet trading, where does that leave me? Happy. Because that's what the wonderful Pound Chat does. There are times when it’s difficult to be able to create or zap a pet you’ve always wanted. But through time and effort, it is possible no matter the circumstances.